Archive for July, 2013


Welcome to Weedville USA Part 2


I left the 15L bus in front of Papa Johns pizza, the one that flanks the 12 going out to 5 points. Denver officers were on hand and ready to address the gunman situation I left behind (like every other swinging dick with half a brain) on the L. Once on board the 15 it was mere moments before I was in the heart of the city, the crossroads of Colfax and Broadway. I called an acquaintance to look me up at the Shag Lounge, my newly adopted hangout in LoDo where the cheap beer and whiskey poured and the thumping tones of some killer gansta thumping, soul kissing rap and hip hop peel over the floor. Water vapor squirts out from overhead and the open patio leaks out right to the curb of 15th Street, people enjoying the night air while straddling a PBR Tallboy and a cigarette.

Not wanting to cause an issue I stand just outside the iron fence of the Shag’s patio and fill my pipe with some dope. No one really pays much attention, not even the police car cruising by but I’m still not clear on what the laws are about smoking pot in a public place. Is pot smoking treated like cigarettes, allowed only outside or in designated areas?. Fucking Christ, where’s my friend? His text say he’ll be here soon but I’m not buying it.  figure I might as well head down to Civic Center park to see what’s shaking there. Summers typically host concerts or other such events there so I begin hoofing it toward the park.

Jackpot – a concert in the park. Some local indie band is playing sweet tunes to let you enjoy the evening air, do the twirly dance and get fucked up, if you wish. The band area is a circular structure with pillars, bleachers and plenty of room for spectators to dance. I pull to the side of the arena for one more bowlful of weed and notice a tall middle aged gent looking around suspiciously, cupping items along the concrete ledge he stands next to; definitely a pot smoker but his paranoid behavior leads me to believe he’s new to this – probably new to town. Since Denver legalized marijuana a wave of tourists continue to walk about trying to find out what the customs are here in Weedville, USA. Can you just openly smoke? Is pot available at your local 7-11? Do you need some secret handshake to purchase the green?

Until state legislation is able to iron out the details behind local vs. federal laws I’m sure no official will stand up and give you a definitive on those type questions. No, you can’t buy pot at 7-11, designated shops are the distributors of marijuana which require a certification process in order to obtain pot. The pioneering shops that opened up as medical clinics issue red cards. Certain clubs are now being formed which require fees and registration to become buying patrons from their establishments. Then you always have the dealers in the park, the handshake boyz who line the walls at Civic Center willing to make you a quick deal, no card, no fuss. They’re like drug concierges offering you prime quality weed, with a moderate price hike and they get a ton of business out there. The funny thing is most people who scour the park and see these dealers probably fear them. They resemble a harsh criminal crowd but they always treat me right. We’re both out their for business, nothing else. Sometimes I will shoot the shit with them but for the most part it’s walk in, get the drugs and walk out.

I quelled the tall guys skittish behavior once he saw me openly smoking. He introduced himself and told me he was on a three day business trip from L.A. and needed to restock his supply of pot. I gave him the lowdown on the handshake boyz, guided him over and made sure he got what he needed. After we parted I began to reflect on how the social scene here has changed with the new legal stance on marijuana. The change seems to be coming about with ripples rather than roars, small baby steps from everyone watching how it all plays out. For decades I had dreamed of a time when pot would be legal and now that it is, I’m unsure how to react. I still catch myself going tense in situations that in the past could have landed me in jail with a five to ten year sentence. I can sit on my porch and smoke a joint, however I used to do that anyway – I was just more cautious about it. I will not smoke dope when children are present, just as I wouldn’t  crack open a fifth of Jack and start guzzling it in front of them. This trial period is being treated with respect (for the most part) from the ganja crowd because we are the representatives to society which will reflect how the public will deal with this in their own state. The law is slowly fading away and soon more and more states will follow suit but at the first signs of ‘wild in the streets’, the public perception of smoking weed will rain down on the masses with a huge helping of ‘I told you so’. No one here want that…except maybe the religious freaks of nature out there who still think the world writhes with abomination.

As of today, everything is good in Weedville USA. Life goes on pretty much the same here. The scenery changed a bit – large groups of smoke shops open in designated areas, magazines carry discount weed coupons, smoking a public venues is up, but for the most part it’s all the same.


Welcome to Weedville, USA pt. 1


No great political battles going on at the moment, no landmark case decisions on my mind so I decided to address a question that’s been thrown my way by a variety of friends and acquaintances living outside the borders of the Rocky Mountain state; ‘what’s it like now that pot’s legal in Colorado?’

That question came back on my mind Saturday night as I went for an evening of leisure – no big plans with friends, nothing predetermined on my quest other than to jump on the bus and head downtown. Some nights I’ll take the bus to town and discover nothing going on, others I become pleasantly surprised to discover an event or maybe just a social situation that bears witness to remind how precious, how deranged and how great life can be.

I headed down to the Colfax bus stop to wait for the 15L line. RTD runs two bus lines down Colfax from my neighborhood; the 15 and the 15L (L for ‘Limited’). Most people prefer the L when you can catch it because it doesn’t stop at every spot along the way to town and is typically a larger bus, which means you aren’t crammed in like Japanese transit. I had my dope, lighter and pipe in pocket and anticipated nothing while heading to town other than to get high and see what was brewing. I don’t always keep up with the calendar events in Denver, rather I stumble across them which makes it more exciting, less scheduled or predetermined. I love discovering and being surprised but the first surprise for me this Saturday I could have done without.

The L cruised along and before I knew it the bus was almost to downtown Denver, the corner of Broadway and Colfax where I typically got off to venture into LoDo (Lower Downtown) or over to Civic Center park to watch an event take place (if any). The bus stopped at the connecting line that would take you to 5 Points and passengers unloaded. After passenger departed the bus continued to just sit there, the bus driver acting as if he just zoned out into another dimension – no movement, stoic and paying no attention to the balking of those passengers on board who wanted to get moving. The comments went from “what’s going on?’ and what seemed like minutes later changed to “open the back door, motherfucker and let me off the bus”. A bus had pulled up behind us apparently because everyone started unloading soon, someone even mentioned that the 15 was right behind us. We didn’t have much further until we reached town so why not hop off and grab the 15? This driver had lost it somehow and no one wanted to hang around on the L anymore. For all we knew he might go completely off the deep edge and ram the bus into a building or some such shit.

I held out until most of the bus was cleared before I too decided to jump off. I turned to leave out the back exit when I saw Denver police officers approaching the bus. I overheard a passenger say the bus driver had called in backup because of a guy on the bus with a gun….there the gunman sat on the bus, not moving. Denver has had enough recent shooting problems to make people a bit tense about situations like this, myself included. Time to jump on the 15 and leave the gunman situation to the pros.




It took a visit to three worlds over two days before I remembered the profound statement a very intelligent woman recently told me. I continue to forget the lesson from that statement time and time again, only to remember it, then forget it again. I pass it along to you readers in case you happen to currently be in similar circumstances-yet you won’t know until you read on, right?

I walked on the wet streets of Aurora Saturday evening making my way down to Colfax for some autentico Latino cuisine. This summer night’s rain fell on me with a different feel than last night’s light shower. Friday night’s rain felt more as if I were being spit on -this Saturday rain was consoling, comforting.

Friday night I was downtown alone (last minute circumstances unintended by anyone) and my senses led me to my favorite watering hole, The Shag Lounge. A retro Googie design bar with some great jazzy rap mixes, the Shag was a great place to numb my personal demons by watching other people out for a Friday night. Folks there tend to be a mixture of those who go out someplace and record the happening on phones, text with their best friend in the presence of others, order cheap PBR tallboys to stretch the dollars out all night. I was putting down Tennessee whiskey and beer and just listened over the conversations going on. What I discovered there was some folks were having a good time, some were not. This was one world I recognized.

Well into the wee hours of Friday and early morning Saturday I got back to my place and immersed myself into the heart of my computer to work on projects and make the rounds through various social media sites. That hypnotizing slip into a dimension of forums and chat rooms, instant messaging and Skype calls. What I discovered there was some folks were having a good time, some were not. This was the second world I recognized.

Then Saturday came along and after sleeping off drinks and herb ingested at the Shag Lounge, still holding some feeling of alienation ( my planned Friday night comradery punked out for me) I felt I needed nourishment…some hardcore chorizo and frijoles, voodoo medicine for the soul. I threw on my hoodie and plodded through light rain once again but as I said, this rain felt more comforting. I wasn’t sure why but a softness came over me as I walked through the lower rent neighborhoods, Lutheran Latino familias, Muslim East Akrikan women with their children gathered playing in the dirt lots, entire buildings of people who speak no English. What I saw walking through those neighborhoods was some folks were having a good time, some were not. This was the third world I recognized.

For some reason at the point when I made it onto Colfax and was ready to enter the restaurante, the statement from that beautiful, smart woman hit me: “we’re all just looking to be loved’. I was pleasantly dumbfounded at the simplicity and fullness of that statement. I have no idea how many times over my life I’ve heard it but something always tries to push it out of my head, leaving me with an empty feeling. We all just want to be loved.

I let that message stay inside me and carried it Sunday when I attended the Denver Black Arts Festival. The festival was filled with great food and music, crafts and other distractions and at the end of the park, just outside the fenced program area, a crowd had gathered to hear speeches being given from noted members of the community expressing their feelings about the recent George Zimmerman court case decision. The speeches didn’t simply focus on the anger people were feeling over the verdict, it also carried messages out to the community saying if we want to have a better society, we need to take time to become better examples of people for others to learn from. Become a better person, do the right thing, because….we’re all just looking to be loved.


Entertaining the Idea of Knowledge


The good news is, people around the globe are getting more news, faster than ever before. The bad news is, people around the globe are getting more news, faster than ever before. This dichotomous world of information and misinformation (or disinformation) swells like a piece of rotting fruit before our eyes at an alarming rate. It leaves me to wondering if it will ever slow down. Newsfeeds, data, collected statistics and outright lies bombard us minute by minute on these electronic sidearms we toy with most every day… this may be why I swill down so much scotch. I keep trying to slow down the onslaught of tirades, memes and other useless dribble my computer screen spits at me while trying to determine what it all means. A good two or three fingers of Dewars and a long blunt of medicinal pots slows the electronic prattle to a distinguishable level, or at least a recognizable one. I suppose I could have taken the other route and jacked myself up to a high octane level of attentiveness by jamming a bunch of crystal in my nose, but I prefer to educate and entertain the way I eat; slow, savoring bites rather than gulping shit down as quick as possible.

There is no going back folks, the bar can’t be lowered. Information is being railed down our throat at a million miles an hour. Communication and retrieval of facts and fantasy is possible almost anywhere you stand on this planet…what a fascinating and frightening reality. At first this post was going to stay focused on attacking the mindless gruel being fed to us-what I call ‘non-news’. Fabricated celebrities and their unconfirmed rumors that waste so much time reporting bullshit like who’s fucking who or what some person (you have no idea what they are noted for) is wearing this week…just writing this shit makes me reach for more Dewars.

Who follows all this media nonsense anyway? What has it done to their brains? I’ve given up trying to stop the masses from watching the latest episode of Duck Dynasty or sitting in front of their computer screen for hours on end being numbed by YouTube videos. People will do what people will do and no amount of informing dialogue seems to retard the need they feel to entertain themselves with this mindless tripe, or fill their head with useless data. This speed of light means for informing the public on myriad subjects hones in on a quick fix to enlighten us-boiled down, encapsulated news allows you to gulp down more and more stories. The fault with this is that those entities out there providing the news to you are being supported through group notability-it doesn’t matter so much that you’re concise or accurate, what matters is how many people are paying attention to you.  This can get dangerous. I fall victim to this as well…frightening.

My sympathy goes out to today’s youth, who we expect to keep up with this insane paced barrage of edutaining flotsam. Mix that in with a diversion from the most state-of-the-art video games, and an entire music library at their fingertips…ADHD? Fuck, I’d have distraction issues too. So pour me some scotch and numb fuck their minds with Ritalin….try to be understanding. The word is cramming stuff into their brains and all anyone wants some days is to veg out and see the Kardashians-just don’t let it become the norm.

So here are some head scratching dilemmas to ponder in regards to information and knowledge. Who is going to regulate the information we receive? What will become the important criteria needed to obtain degrees and become leaders in the nation of our future? How do we form a more learned society when people are being pummeled daily by this non-news? How is one persuaded to use the tools of the computer age to build a better society when they’re constantly being distracted by sensationalized mediocrity? I need more fucking scotch-and some weed…my heads about ready to implode.

What do I suggest while standing at this pulpit? What’s my solution to this dilemma? Beats the hell out of me. Like you, I’m just an observer to this mess, but I have a feeling that the answer lies somewhere around a table of real live souls, trading thoughts and ideas with one another. Information will continue it’s worldwide dispersal at faster and faster rates, but true wisdom is nurtured through the interaction we have with one another. The human condition is best monitored through real humans. Rather than watching a bunch of crazy motherfuckers on some reality show, try going out and spend an evening with real flesh and blood crazy motherfuckers-unscripted-and see if you aren’t entertained and educated to a more fulfilling degree.

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July 2013

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